17 September 2014 Optical modeling for a laser phased-array directed energy system
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Abstract
We present results of optical simulations for a laser phased array directed energy system. The laser array consists of individual optical elements in a square or hexagonal array. In a multi-element array, the far-field beam pattern depends on both mechanical pointing stability and on phase relationships between individual elements. The simulation incorporates realistic pointing and phase errors. Pointing error components include systematic offsets to simulate manufacturing and assembly variations. Pointing also includes time-varying errors that simulate structural vibrations, informed from random vibration analysis of the mechanical design. Phase errors include systematic offsets, and time-varying errors due to both mechanical vibration and temperature variation in the fibers. The optical simulation is used to determine beam pattern and pointing jitter over a range of composite error inputs. Results are also presented for a 1 m aperture array with 10 kW total power, designed as a stand-off system on a dedicated asteroid diversion/capture mission that seeks to evaporate the surface of the target at a distance of beyond 10 km. Phase stability across the array of λ/10 is shown to provide beam control that is sufficient to vaporize the surface of a target at 10 km. The model is also a useful tool for characterizing performance for phase controller design in relation to beam formation and pointing.
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Gary B. Hughes, Gary B. Hughes, Philip Lubin, Philip Lubin, Janelle Griswold, Janelle Griswold, Brianna Cook, Brianna Cook, Durante Bozzini, Durante Bozzini, Hugh O'Neill, Hugh O'Neill, Peter Meinhold, Peter Meinhold, Jonathan Suen, Jonathan Suen, Johanna Bible, Johanna Bible, Jordan Riley, Jordan Riley, Isabella E. Johansson, Isabella E. Johansson, Mark Pryor, Mark Pryor, Miikka Kangas, Miikka Kangas, } "Optical modeling for a laser phased-array directed energy system", Proc. SPIE 9226, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments VIII, 922603 (17 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2059948; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2059948
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